Faculty and Judges
Tracie Stanfield is an award-winning choreographer, educator, creative consultant, and the founder/Artistic Director of SynthesisDANCE in New York City. Dance Magazine calls her classes "inspiring'” and the Huffington Post UK says Tracie "thrilled and mesmerized with her masterful fusion of contemporary and classical dance forms.” Tracie’s choreography has been presented throughout NY at Symphony Space, Jazz at Lincoln Center, BAM Fisher, The Duke Theatre, Brooklyn Museum, Rose Nagelberg Theatre, Bryant Park, Brooklyn College, Dixon Place, Brooklyn Music School and Untermyer Park in Yonkers. Internationally, her work has been produced at the Benicassim, Spain , Edinburgh EICC in Scotland, St. Petersburgh, Russia throughout Mexico in MC, Monterrey and Ixtapa. Stage commissions include Tec de Monterrey Universidad, Verismo Opera Company, Tapestry Dance Company, Kilgore Rangerettes, Brooklyn Dance Festival Company and Flux Dance Company.
One of the “Nine DanceMakers Making History” (Dance Spirit), Tracie travels the world teaching dancers, dance educators and aspiring professionals. Tracie is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center in NYC and tours with Fluid Dance Conventions. Recent teaching highlights include Joffrey Ballet, Yale University, Amarbaillar in Paraguay, TDR Tour in Ixtapa, Encore Officer Camp and Marymount Manhattan College. Her SynthesisDANCE Teacher Training Workshops have been produced in Mexico City, Monterrey, Mexico and throughout the US.
Beyond her work with the Spirit of Elan Award-winning SynthesisDANCE, Tracie served as the Resident Choreographer for the Booking Dance Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been regularly featured in Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher and Dance Informa Magazines . She is the Founding Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Dance Festival and serves on the Advisory Board of the Young Choreographers' Festival and various dance organizations that promote the future of dance for all audiences. Tracie served as the Educational Advisor for SIETEOCHO, a pre-professional training program in Mexico City. Film projects include Studio School, Caseology online campaign, The Fairy Queen with Director Erin Levendorf, Documentary and Dance4Camera projects with BT Films. Headshot is attached.
Autumn Miller was born on August 2, 2001. She is from Orange County, CA. She Assists her Mom Krista Miller (KBM TALENT) and her Dad Cory Miller (THINK MILLER GROUP and is the co-founder of the brand new (THE BREA SPACE) in Orange County, CA. She began dancing at the age of 5 and trains in Jazz, contemporary, hip hop/Jazz Funk, and ballet. Autumn is known for her very popular youtube channel “Autie’s Freestyle Friday” That she started in 2011. With over 70,000,000 million views she has made a name for herself worldwide. Her channel consists of fun Dance videos and short skits set to Music. Her Channel lets her Audience in to her personal Journey as a Dancer from Los Angles!
Some of Autumn’s credits include Appearing in Willow Smith’s Whip my Hair music video, Music video with Madilyn Bailey, ABC Dancing with the stars, Disney’s Shake it up, and the Fox hit show “mobbed”. Autumns has worked with Brands like Barbie, Justice, Nickelodeon, Walmart, Target, Dream Works T.V, and Hasbro. She has appeared in numerous commercials including Mc Donald’s, Go GO Puppy, and Just Dance Kids. She has also modeled for Brands like Razors, Rollerblade, Katrina Dance Wear, Discount Dance, J. Jill, Hyundai, Target, and Guess.
When Autumn is not Training or working as a Dancer/Model she enjoys hanging out with her friends Swimming, Riding Bikes, Rollerblading and Going Shopping.
Eric John Campros has enjoyed a varied career as a dancer, choreographer, and educator. He debuted on Broadway in the smash hit musical “Grease” and followed with the national tours of Hello, Dolly with the legendary Carol Channing and A Chorus Line. He danced on tour with the Backstreet Boys and Aaliyah, and has appeared in performances with Britney Spears, Usher, and Lil’ Kim. Eric danced in several films, most notably Across the Universe and the Bollywood hit Jaaneman, as well as various commercials and videos. Choreography credits include the US tour of Real Soul, German tour of M*Pire, NYC debut of the Voice’s Sal Valentinnetti, CCTV’s New Year Spectacular, and commercial industrials for Levi’s, Wrangler, and Aventis Pharmaceuticals.
As an educator he created a 2 year dance based curriculum for Hebei Art College and Shandong University in China, and is a guest teaching artist at Yale University, Sacred Heart University, and Hillsborough College. Eric is on faculty at the prestigious Broadway Dance Center in New York City, and holds a BA in Marketing from MSU.
Keenan Cooks was born and raised in Boston, MA and began dancing at the age of 14. Just two years later, he became a member of Boston based Nia Dance Troupe where he first began his professional training. In 2008, Keenan moved to New York City to pursue dance professionally. Since coming to New York City he has had the honor of working with amazing choreographers such as Rhapsody James, Laurie Ann Gibson, Luam, Kyle Hanagami, Rich & Tone, Danielle Flora, Nappy Tabs, and Charm La’Donna. He has had the privilege of working with artist such as Big Sean, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Ne-Yo, Flo-Rida, Kendrick Lamar, Prince Royce, Hailee Steinfeld, Halsey, and Dua Lipa. You may have seen him dancing on Saturday Night Live, America’s Got Talent, Today Show, Good Morning America, MTV Music Video Awards.
As an up-and-coming choreographer, Keenan has had the privilege to choreograph a BET commercial, A Gap commercial, and he was the on-site choreographer/movement coach for an episode of “Blindspot” (Season 2). Keenan was Cardi B’s first choreograph. During his time with Cardi, he
choreographer her first tour “The Underestimated Tour”. He also choreographed her first two award show performances on the MTV VMA’s, and the BET Awards After show. Keenan has also choreographed for David Guetta, J Balvin,
Bebe Rexha, Meek Mill, and Yo Gotti. He’s also been the assistant choreographer on projects for Kelly Rowland and Lizzo.
As a instructor, Keenan is on faculty at one of the most popular studios in New York City Broadway Dance Center. He is also on Guest faculty at Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles. He has had the opportunity to travel international and teach on multiple occasion traveling to almost 20 counties including Japan, South Korea, China,Germany, Paris, Argentina, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, and Italy.
Isabella Bruno is an 18 year old dancer from new york, she has been dancing since age 3 and is currently training at The Brea Space in the Launch program in california. She trains weekly in contemporary, jazz, ballet, hip hop, and technique with some of the best choreographers/ teachers in the industry. She wants to continue to pursue dance as well as acting and choreograph/ teach dancers around the world.
Neil “80sbaby” Schwartz has been dancing since the age of seven. After graduating from the University of Maryland and moving to NYC, he has had the privilege to work with Rhapsody James, Luam, Lisette, Chonique, and more. He has choreographed for artists such as ASTR, Bosco, Wynter Gordon, Rome Fortune, Mateo, PUSH PLAY, TT the Artist, Oyinda, RIVRS, Michael Dion, Debby Friday and more. He has also had the opportunity to work with Luam as assistant choreographer for Icona Pop on Americas Got Talent and David Letterman.
Neil has appeared as the lead principle actor and dancer in NJ Lottery Cash Pop campaign, SImplySafe Camera, as well as a principle role in the new Master Card commercial that premiered at the 2020 Grammy awards.
He was hand selected to choreograph the launch of Pharrell Williams fragrance girl for Sephora. He was also an assistant choreographer with Lisette Bustamante on Girl Generation Hikkup.
Neil was also hand selected to work with actor Channing Tatum as a contributing choreographer for the flashmob seen on The Today Show in promotion for Warner Brothers Magic Mike.
He has traveled to Hawaii,Peru, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Croatia, Sweden, Switzerland, Vienna, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Israel, and Italy teaching workshops and was a recipient at the Young Choreographers festival in 2010 and as a returning guest artist in 2011. He now teaches at Broadway Dance Center in NY as well as guest teaches at Millennium Dance Complex and Movement Lifestyle in LA. His choreography can be seen on The Today Show, Good morning America, NBC Live, PBS, World of Dance, The Brooklynettes, Carnival Choreographers ball (NY/LA), Rhapsody James presents Sirens After Dark and more.
Todd Flanagan, an Arkansas native, always had big city lights and stars in his eyes. He knew at an early age that he wanted to be “inside the television”. In 2007, after graduating from Southern Arkansas University with a BA in Theatre, he made the move to LA to pursue his dreams.
While his first passion is acting, after settling into North Hollywood, he quickly fell in love with dance. Within just a few short years, he went from training to realizing his gift for teaching young dancers. His charismatic and caring approach makes him a highly sought after mentor to the youth.
Todd’s professional credits include Dr. Phil for Matty B and featured choreographer judge, assisting world renowned choreographers and industry professionals, Chonique Sneed and Lisette Bustamante on Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale stage show, America’s Best Dance Crew; assisting Krista Miller on the Skechers Industrial Show; and working with Lavelle Smith, Laurieann Gibson, and Theresa Espinosa.
Todd is faculty at Manhattan Dance Project, Millennium Dance Complex, Mather Dance Company, as well as guest teacher/choreographer across the US and internationally. He continues to play an integral part in the development of collectiveUth, an organization that offers training opportunities to dancers globally. His desire to educate, motivate, inspire is far-reaching and he is building a legacy by touching the lives of young dancers.
Kristen Jost is a lifelong dancer, trained at the Turning Pointe School for Performing Arts in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. She has received more than 15 years of training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and lyrical. She continued dancing in college and was co-director of Frelon Dance Company at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has attended and performed in several dance conventions and competitions, in addition to performing at the Detroit Lion’s Thanksgiving half time show. She currently works as a physician in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching tap, ballet, and pointe at Balleraena and being a member of the LiRa Dance Theatre Company.
Madeleine Titze is originally from Las Cruces, NM where she trained in ballet, jazz, and tap at Michele’s Dance Academy. In New Mexico, Madeleine danced with the Las Cruces Chamber Ballet company in roles such as Clara in the Nutcracker, the Sugarplum Fairy, and Coppelia. After dancing with the Las Cruces Chamber Ballet, Madeleine attended Gonzaga University and was captain of the university’s hip hop dance team: The Bomb Squad. Upon graduation, Madeleine worked as a character performer at Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL). In addition to dancing with the LiRa Dance Theatre Company since its debut, Madeleine is also the Associate Director of Admission at Augustana University and has a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration.
Kelsey Freidel Nelson
Kelsey Freidel Nelson is the head cheer and dance coach at Mount Marty University. She has been a LiRa company member for five years and continues to work on projects with the directors, Lisa and Raena. Professionally, she is the executive director of marketing at MMU and lives in Yankton, SD with her husband, dog Libby, cat Murphy and soon-to-be baby in July!
Kelsey Freidel Nelson started dancing in high school where she was both cheer and dance captain her junior and senior years. She danced for four years in college at Augustana University and the University of South Dakota. During that time, she choreographed for the teams and attended four national championships. In April 2008, her team took first place at the West Coast Championships in Los Angeles, CA in the college hip hop division, and second place in the Jazz division.
After college, Kelsey’s love of dance transitioned into coaching and teaching. She has aided in coaching and choreography for the USD Dance team, she was the sideline cheer coach at St Thomas More High School, and was the assistant dance coach/choreographer at Vermillion High School. Likewise, she has been a certified SDHSAA Cheer and Dance Official since 2011. She was voted the 2015-2016 NFHS South Dakota Competitive Spirit Squads Official of the Year. In 2015, Kelsey became a dance instructor at Balleranea Dance Studio, and was the competition team coach from 2014-2017.
She continues to study dance and has taken classes at Balleraena for eight years. She was a company member of the LiRa Dance and Theatre Company of Sioux Falls for five years. On top of teaching, judging, and coaching dance – Kelsey is the Executive Director of Marketing and Communications and Head Cheer & Dance Coach at Mount Marty University. She lives in Yankton, SD with her husband Joey Nelson and dog, Libby, and cat Murphy. She and Joey are expecting their first human baby this summer.
Jenna Thu grew up dancing at a competitive dance studio in Nebraska and was on her high school competitive team that competed at UDA HS Nationals. She danced through college on athletic scholarship at Northwest Missouri State University and served as team captain as they competed at UDA, NDA, and USA college nationals. Jenna became a high school competitive dance coach in 2008 in Missouri and continued to coach a high school competitive team when she moved to Sioux Falls, SD. She was awarded Most Valuable coach in 2008 from UDA and received a UDA coaches leadership award in 2010 & 2011. She currently is entering her 7th season coaching the Augustana University dance team. In addition she judges cheer and dance for high school competitions, club competitions, as well as pageants. Jenna was the live broadcaster at the SD Cheer & Dance State Competition the last 5 years. She danced for the Sioux Falls Storm arena football semi-pro dance team from 2010-2016. Jenna is a full-time Spanish teacher at Washington HS in Sioux Falls. She holds a Master of Education degree from Augustana University and continues to work on her dance and cheer education by attending professional conventions and camps each year. Jenna loves to travel and takes student groups to Europe every few years. She is happily married and has a cute Westie named Beau.
Leah Lunstrum is from Redfield, South Dakota. She started dancing at Core Kinetics Dance Studio and Living Arts Dance Studio in South Dakota where she trained for 14 years. Shen then pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance and a Marketing Minor at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she graduated in the fall of 2019. Leah has been trained in many styles including hip hop, jazz, tap, contemporary, ballet/pointe, Afro-Cuban, and Irish. She has been selected to perform at MSU Theatre and Dance Gala, American College Dance Association (ACDA), Minnesota Fringe Festival, Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and at O’Shaughnessy Theater under Stark Dance. She has also been involved in the Buildabeast 2019 intensive in Chicago, and multiple classes at Playground LA. Leah’s choreography has been selected for MSU Spring and Fall Concerts--- Bound, Letting Go, Where Do We Go?, and Beating Mind. As an instructor, Leah has taught and choreographed hip hop at Dance Conservatory of Southern Minnesota. She has also taught at Riverfront Performing Arts in Mankato specializing in hip hop, contemporary, jazz, and tap. She hopes to continue to perform and learn from other artists, share more choreography with the world, and teach more students in the future.
Krista has been involved in dance and fitness all her life. She has worked for Fitness companies Pure Barre and Esteem Fit. Krista started dancing in Minnesota. She was a 4-year member, 2-year captain of the Eden Prairie Pom Squad. They were 2014 Pom National Champions. She continued to the University of St. Thomas Dance Team where she was a 4-year member, senior captain and 4-time National Champion. She has worked for Karl Mundt Innovate Dance, Minneapolis Performing Arts Center, Universal Dance Association, Coach of the Eden Prairie Pom Squad and currently manages Esteem Dance, Fitness and Tumbling. Aside from managing the studio, she owns Krista Lynn LLC. Krista Lynn LLC has private lessons, choreography, cleaning, judging and master classes. She is very exciting to be judging now!
Mandy started dancing at the age of three at Kitty Lee Dance Studio in Omaha, NE and danced competitively through high school graduation. She was trained in many areas of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop from different teachers throughout her time at the studio. She attended Omaha Burke High School and was a member and captain of the dance team during her high school years. In college, Mandy was a member of the nationally ranked, University of Nebraska Omaha dance team for four years. She learned routines and more technique from choreographers from around the country and was able to showcase those routines at NDA nationals in Daytona Beach, Florida. While working on her Master’s degree in criminal justice, she was the assistant coach for the UNO dance team for three years where the dance team placed 7th, 5th and 3rd place at NDA nationals. Mandy became a certified dance and cheer judge by completing online courses through Arbiter Sports in 2018 which allowed her to be an official judge for NAIA competitions. She has continued to be a certified judge for NAIA since 2018 and has judged many NAIA competitions at both the state and national level. Mandy has continuously judged tryouts for studios in Nebraska and Iowa, multiple nationally ranked high school tryouts, and helped different dance teams prepare for their competitions throughout their competition season. She currently works at the Douglas County Courthouse for the District Court as a judicial assistant to seventeen District Court judges and continues to further her education through the classes provided to her. She loves having the opportunity to be a judge for different competitions throughout the Midwest and give her advice and feedback to many teams. Mandy is honored to be a part of the Meraki panel and looks forward to seeing the talent at this competition.
subject to change